Welcome to the web course on Academic Knowled=
ge and Inquiry!
Roll over the highlighted terms below to read a=
definition or explanation.
If you take your journey through this course seriously and work through all the exercises and the expositions, you will develop a broad =
cross-disciplinary understanding of the nature of academic knowledge and in=
quiry. Within this framework, you will develop the ability to:
- justify a position/claim you subscrib=
- critically evaluate a position that y=
ou come across, along with any justification that accompanies it;
- pursue a methodology appropriate for =
a given question; and
- participate meaningfully in an academic or pub=
debate on a controversial issue.
You will use the Table of Contents on the right to navigate through=
out the course. Click on Unit 1 to see an overview of the first unit, or go=
straight to Section 1.2 to get started on the exercises.
several resources located at the top right corner of the site - Additional Mat=
erials, the Road Map, and the Glossary. Util=
izing these tools as you work through the lessons will help you get the mos=
t out of this course.
The material on this website would be useful for students, teachers and=
anyone who values an educated mind.
[A note for teachers and graduate stu=
=E2=80=A2 Learning is an activity;=20
, not just by readi=
ng and listening.
=E2=80=A2 Learning involves=20
, as well as=20
, not just receiving information from outs=
=E2=80=A2 The strategies of learning that you develop in one course ca=
n and should=20
In keeping with these assumptions, "working through" this course invol=
ves not simply clicking through the course or passively reading/listening, =
but experiencing the processes of discovery, invention, and evaluation that=
lead to a modification and restructuring of your mind through active engag=
ement with the tasks.=20
defend/substantiate/support/prove/provide evidence for the claim
employ your critical thinking ability to make an assessment of the merit of=
strategies to arrive at an answer, including the use of experimentation, in=
strumentation, statistics, surveys, interviews, case studies, textual analy=
sis, conceptual clarification, thought experiments, explanation constructio=
n, and so on.
conflict between the justification for a position and the justification for=
the opposite position
A collection of readings and exercises to supplement the main activities. T=
hey provide more practice and further insight into specific areas of intere=
A visual representation of the concepts covered in this course and their re=
lationships to each other.
A tool which provides definitions and examples of many of the terms used th=
roughout the course. The glossary can be searched alphabetically, but can a=
lso be called up term-by-term from the Road Map.
Underlying this course are certain premises on the role of primary, seconda=
ry and tertiary education:
A) Helping learners acquire the=20
to learn independently of teacher=
s and textbooks and to engage in=20
diverse modes of inquiry is more important th=
an providing knowledge and information in the classrooms.
(Given the right pedagogy, learners acquire a=
great deal of knowledge and information as a by-product of
the activities designed to develop the capaci=
ty for independent learning and independent inquiry.)
B) Understanding the=20
of knowledge and inform=
ation is more important
than the details and specifics of the co=
ntent of knowledge and information, although that abstract structure
and body of general principles need to be roo=
ted in examples with concrete details and specifics.
C) Understanding the=20
of inquiry across, as w=
ell as beyond, disciplinary=20
boundaries is as important as discipline and =
topic specific details of research.=20